Top 10 Things to Do in Phnom Penh

Top 10 Things to Do in Phnom Penh

Come to Phnom Penh, a capital city of Cambodia to explore new things. Not just for entertainment, but also learning new experiences with new friendly people in new environment. Phnom Penh is not a massive modern city and small, but a peaceful and historical place.

10/ Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is called Preah Barum Reachea Veang in Khmer, and its full name is Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol. It faces towards the East and is situated at the Western bank of the cross division of the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River called Chaktomuk. The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh sits side by side on Sothearos Boulevard and covers an area of 174,870 square meters (402m x 435m).The Royal Palace is a complex of buildings, which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. And, the complex is divided by walls into four main compounds, on the south side is the Silver Pagoda-store national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues, to the north side is the Khemarin Palace-official residence of the King of Cambodia; and the central compound contains the Throne Hall- Sacred Seat of Judgment and today use as a place for religious and royal ceremonies as well as a meeting place for guests of the King; and to the west is the private sector or the Inner Court. It opens 7 days a week from 7:00a.m to 5:00p.m.

9/ National Museum

It took three years to build National Museum from 1917 to 1920, and this complex building is called “saa-ra moo-un dti” in Khmer. The museum’s location is designed to impress, north of the Royal Palace and with the Royal University of Fine Arts just behind. Most visitors start left and continue in a clockwise, chronological direction to see intact head, shoulders and two arms – of an immense bronze reclining Vishnu statue; and Continue into the southern pavilion, where the pre-Angkorian collection begins, illustrating the journey from the human form of Indian sculpture to the more divine form of Khmer sculptures. Totally, there are 14,000 different pieces on show. It opens hours are from 8.00am until 5.00pm daily. The ticket costs $5 for foreign visitors, 500 riels for Cambodians. Children and school groups are free. Guides are available there.

8/ S21 Genocide
Before the regime had started, S21 was a high school called Tuol Svay Pray. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge renamed the high school S-21 and turned it into a torture, interrogation and execution center, and they also carefully photographed the vast majority of the inmates and created an astonishing photographic archive. Each of the almost 6,000 S-21 portraits that have been recovered tells a story shock, resignation, confusion, defiance and horror. 14,000 people were entered there, but only 7 people survived. Today, this five building complex is know as known as the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide with the school gate. According to a prakas dated June 10 2016 and signed by Culture Minister Phoeung Sakona, “foreigners aged 18 and up must pay for a visitors’ ticket at a cost of $3 per person,” from August 1.


7/ Choeung Ek killing field

Visitors buy a 10$ ticket to see more than 8000 skulls, arranged by sex and age, are visible behind the clear glass panels of the Memorial Stupa, and an excellent audio tour- available in several languages. The audio tour includes stories by those who survived the Khmer Rouge, plus a chilling account by Him Huy, a Choeung Ek guard and executioner; about some of the techniques they used to kill innocent and defenseless prisoners, including women and children. A shuttle-bus tour is available with Phnom Penh Hop On Hop Off, which includes hotel pick-up from 8am in the morning or 1.30pm in the afternoon.

6/ Wat Phnom

The Wat is located in the north of Phnom Penh City. The Wat is on the hill, which is 27 meters high. Visitors go there to see nice view on the top of the hill, flower clock and as well as pray for bless and luck at pagodas. The Wat Phnom is busy on the weekend and in particular during New Year because there are mixture of tourists and local people.

5/ Wat Ounalom

This iconic Wat Ounalom is attractive and famous for its building, location and Buddha stupas. Ounalam is a large complex with quarters for monks and nuns, classrooms, meditation centres, as well as halls, shrines and stupas. On the other hand, this Wat is also home for province-students to continue their education in the city. The front of the wat overlooks the Tonle Sap riverside and the north side looks across Street 154 to Kandal Market while the temple’s rear entrance on Street 13 street aligns with Street 172, Phnom Penh’s budding Pub Street.

4/ Wat Langka

Wat Langka is one of the prominent pagado in Phnom Penh, and it is known as a free of charge meditation class. This Wat is located on Sihanouk Boulevard near the Independence Monument. Visitor will enjoy seeing this historical pagoda.

3/ Traditional Dance Show

Khmer traditional dance can be periodically found in many places in Phnom Penh such as restaurant, association, cultural event and so on. On the other hand, there is a permanent performance in a small outdoor theater of the National Museum every evening from October to March by Cambodian Living Arts. The three performances are Children of the Bassac, Yike Opera and Passage of life.

2/ Cyclo tour

Cyclo is a three vehicle, which ride by mostly men without engine to technically carry one person from place to place. For this few decades, it has become famous way of touring around Phnom Penh by expatriates. Normally, Cambodian people take Cyclo to go to market or for short distance travelling. The riders will carry visitors to tourist attractions such as Royal Palace, National Museum, Independent monument and other places. Typically, the Cyclo tour riders are member of association whereas individual riders ride people to market.

1/ Sunset boat

Many boats are available on the Mekong riverbank from Wat Phnom to Royal Palace. The dock is at Wat Phnom. Visitors can rent a different size boat to suit their people, and the price charge differently based on boats’ size. The one can fit 10 people cost around 20$/ time. The boat starts from Wat Phnom to the edge of Koh Pich (Diamond Island) and get back to the starting point. Visitors are allowed to cook, eat and dance on the boat while enjoying city night view and the other side of the Mekong. There are also public boats, which everyone pays 5000 riel (Cambodia currency) for around 45 minutes trip.


We are sure you will enjoy your stay in Phnom Penh with fantastic above activities and give your unforgettable memories.

Categories: Travel Guide

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